How did Islam spread in the world? The question has puzzled historians for years. For centuries after the rise of Islam, much of the Middle East was still largely comprised of diverse communities of non-Muslims. This course on the complex history of “Islamization” examines when, how, and why various societies became majority Muslim, through a close look at case studies and sources from across the medieval world including Spain, North Africa, Central Asia and India. Topics covered include religious tolerance, polemic, cultural assimilation, minority identities, interreligious marriages, children of mixed families, and the contentious issues of apostasy and forced conversion.